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94022 : Real Estate Advice

  • All18
  • Local Info0
  • Home Buying6
  • Home Selling2
  • Market Conditions0

Activity 13
Mon Sep 26, 2016
Sam.onate answered:
Grace Morioka do you know of a lender that does these type of loans?
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 21, 2016
Arpad Racz answered:

I would ask a local inspector to look at it and ask the city as well.

Kind regards,

0 votes 18 answers Share Flag
Tue Aug 5, 2014
Tony answered:
As a buyer, I say a good easy flow and esthetically pleasing floor plan, and good lot location without any permanent defect that can't be fixed to due intrinsic location and city regulations will have a better resell value. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Nov 21, 2013
Grace Hanamoto answered:
Hi Dan:

Frankly, unless you have the money and time (both the time needed to plan, obtain permits, and construct AND the time needed to sell in a less densely populated market) to renovate the home, it doesn't really make sense to increase the home's square footage before sales. In fact, my personal opinion is that at a price of $5 million, buyers would prefer to find a "fixer upper" at half the price with the possibility or renovating a home to suit their personal style later.

In fact, most of my high-end buyers (those looking for homes priced over $2.5M) have such specific desires and such a specific list of "must haves" for their homes that most would prefer a good "lot" with building possibilities versus a home renovated for the current owner's needs. Unless you are a developer, interior designer or someone with a great sense of current housing trends, you risk the possibility of building or renovating in a manner that fails to recoup the investment.

So my suggestion is to keep the home for as long as you want it, then list it "as is" with the knowledge that the new buyer will, in all likelihood, be making changes to the property after the close of escrow. In the meantime, you save yourself the time, expense and risk of renovations to your home.

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
Tel (408) 426-1616

Buyer Rebates up to 50 percent of Commission, Low, Low Cost Listings to Sellers
... more
0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Fri Aug 16, 2013
Juliana Lee answered:
Inspectors who do a lot of work for a particular real estate agent will often respond very quickly to requests made by that agent. It is one of the factors to consider when you choose your real estate agent.

I don't know of any inspectors who advertise they can do an inspection without scheduling it. You might be able to work out a deal with an inspector by paying him some money up front to respond to you as quickly as possible.

Zip code 94022 home values at
Zip code 94022 just sold home information at

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sat May 18, 2013
Juliana Lee answered:
Building a house for $400 per square foot puts the cost about in the middle of historical returns when building in Los Altos. See

My own experience is that local construction costs do not have to be that high to build a nice home. I built a new home in 2009 and spent well below that

As far as modular versus conventional stick built, either can be done.

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Cell 650-857-1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 5, 2012
Grace Hanamoto answered:
Hi Joe and thanks for your post.

I do agree with the others that, right now, we're seeing as much value retention in the condominium market as we are in some single family homes, and, even more so, in areas where--like Los Altos, the location on the peninsula coupled with the outstanding schools, make the homes even more desirable to present and future home buyers.

I also agree with Dave B. that Peninsula Real's location along well traveled and sometimes quite noisy El Camino Real does make the community less desirable than in other parts of the town. The properties are new, but I'm always leary of podium condominiums. I've not yet seen one that doesn't, in the first five years of its existence, have major water leaking problems, issues with shared plumbing, garage maintenance issues related to security doors, security breaches, leaks in the garage and planters, and eventual issues with the seams between the post-tension slabs. As Allyson noted, one of the biggest resident complaints in this type of housing is the lack of parking and the lack of storage for larger items such as bicycles, sports equipment and personal stuff.

All of this often translates into skyrocketing assessments for the residents, as maintenance issues and costs increase over time--sometimes quite steeply early in the life of the HOA.

Although it may seem trivial, high assessments can make the building and the home harder to sell. With post tension slab buildings often having assessments that are as much as two times higher than surrounding communities that have separate or enclosed garages. Unless the buyer is truly capitivated by the building's amenities and floor plans, these types of condominiums often become a second choice to those buildings that are more "townhome" in design with a traditional garage and building footprint.

As the others mentioned, you should bring your agent with you and you should carefully evaluate this property against the surrounding homes that may be located slightly further away from the busy street, and with garages to see how you feel about the value and overall long term desirability of this investment.

Good luck!
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hob9 answered:
Anyone should be able to do this themselves with even a grammer school education and a tape measure from Home Depot.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 15, 2012
Marie Souza Team answered:
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Thu May 17, 2012
Christina Chu answered:
If the agent is advertising the Sold property like its available for sale than that's totally unethical and misleading to the public.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 1, 2009
David Blockhus answered:

When I did my remodel (4 years ago), the county assessor's office asked a series of questions in order to determine the "market value" of our remodel. They computed the increase in my tax base on the "market value" of our remodel. It turned out that the increase in our tax base was almost identical to the cost of our remodeled times 1.2 percent. For example, if our remodel was 250K, the increase in tax base would be $3,000 a year.

However, please check with the County Assessor's office for the official explanation based on your job.
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
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